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FINGAL

BOOK VI.

ARGUMENT.-NIGHT comes on. Fingal gives a feast to

his army, at which Swaran is present. The king commands Uílin, his bard, to give the song of peace; a custom always observed at the end of a war. Ullin relates the ac. tions of Trenmor, great grandfather to Fingal, in Scandinavia, and his marriage with Inibaca, the daughter of a king of Lochlin, who was ancestor to Swaran ; which consideration, together with his being brother to Agan. decca, with whom Fingal was in love in his youth, induced the king to release him, and permit him to return with the remains of his army into Lochlin, upon his promise of never returning to Ireland in a hostile manner. The night is spent in settling Swaran's departure, in songs of bards, and in a conversation in which the story of Grumal is introduced by Fingal Morning comes. Swaran departs. Fingal goes on a hunting party, and finding Cuthullin in the cave of Tura, comforts him, and sets sail the next day

for Scotland, which concludes the poem. The clouds of night come rolling down. Darkness rests on the steeps of Cromla. The stars of the north arise over the rolling of Erin's waves : they show their heads of fire through the flying mist of heaven. A distant wind roars in the wood. Silent and dark is the plain of death! Still on the dusky Lena arose in my ears the voice of Carril. He sung of the friends of our youth; the days of former years; when we met on the banks of Lego: when we sent round the joy of the shell. Cromla answered to his voice. The ghosts of those he sung came in their rustling winds. They were seen to bend with joy, towards the sound of their praise!

Be thy soul blest, O Carril! in the midst of thy eddying winds.

O that thou wouldst come to my hall, when I am alone by night! And thou dost come, my friend.

I hear often thy light hand on my harp, when it hangs on the distant wall, and the feeble sound touches my ear. Why dost thou not speak to me in my grief, and tell when I shall behold my friends ? But thou passest away in thy murmuring blast; the wind whistles through the grey hair of Ossian!

Now, on the side of Mora, the heroes gathered to the feast. A thousand aged oaks are burning to the wind. The strength* of the shells goes round. The souls of warriors brighten with joy. But the king of Lochlin is silent. Sorrow reddens in the eyes of his pride. He often turned toward Lena. He remembered that he fell. Fingal leaned on the shield of his fathers. His grey locks slowly waved on the wind, and glittered to the beam of night. He saw the grief of Swaran, and spoke to the first of bards.

“ Raise, Ullin, raise the song of peace. 0 “ sooth my soul from war! Let mine ear forget, « in the sound, the dismal noise of arms. “ hundred harps be near to gladden the king of " Lochlin. He must depart from us with joy.

The ancient Celtæ brewed beer, and they were no strangers to nead. Several ancient poems mention wax lights and wine as common in the halls of Fingal. The Caledonians, in their frequent incursions to the province, might become acquainted with those conveniences of life, and introduce them into their own country, amons the booty which they carried from South Britain.

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“ None ever went sad from Fingal. Oscar! the “ lightning of my sword is against the strong in

fight. Peaceful it lies by my side when war“ riors yield in war."

“ Trenmor,”* said the mouth of songs,“ lived “ in the days of other years. He bounded over " the waves of the north: companion of the “ storm! The high rocks of the land of Lochlin; “ its groves of murmuring sounds appeared to the “ hero through mist; he bound his white-bosom“ed sails. Trenmor pursued the boar that roar“ed through the woods of Gormal. Many had “ fled from its presence; but it rolled in death on

spear of Trenmor. Three chiefs, who be“ held the deed, told of the mighty stranger.

They told that he stood, like a pillar of fire, in " the bright arms of his valour. The king of “ Lochlin prepared the feast. He called the “ blooming Trenmor. Three days he feasted at “ Gormal's windy towers, and received his choice “ in the combat. The land of Lochlin had no hero that yielded not to Trenmor. The shell " of joy went round with songs in praise of the

king of Morven. He that came over the waves, * the first of mighty men!"

Now when the fourth grey morn arose, the hero launched his ship. He walked along the silent shore, and called for the rushing wind: for loud

* Trenmor was great grandfather to Fingal. The story is introduced to facilitate the dismission of Swaran.

and distant he heard the blast murmuring behind the groves. Covered over with arms of steel, a son of the woody Gormal appeared. Red was his cheek, and fair his hair. His skin was like the snow of Morven. Mild rolled his blue and smiling eye, when he spoke to the king of swords.

“Stay, Trenmor, stay, thou first of men, thou “ hast not conquered Lonval's son. My sword « has often met the brave. The wise shun the " strength of my bow.” “Thou fair-baired " youth," Trenmor replied, “I will not fight with “ Lonval's son.

Tbine arnı is feeble, sun-beam “ of youth! Retire to Gormal's dark-brown « hinds." “ But I will retire,” replied the youth, “ with the sword of Trenmor; and exult in the “ sound of my fame. The virgins shall gather “ with smiles around him who conquered mighty “ Trenmor. They shall sigh with the sighs of “ love, and admire the length of thy spear; when “ I shall carry it among thousands; when I lift “the glittering point to the sun."

“ Thou shalt never carry my spear,” said the angry king of Morven. “ Thy mother shall find “ thee pale on the shore; and, looking “ dark-blue deep, see the sails of him that slew “ her son!” “I will not lift the spear,” replied the youth, “my arm is not strong with years. “ But, with the feathered dart, I have learned to “pierce a distant foe. Throw down that heavy * mail of steel. Trenmor is covered from death,

over the

“ I first will lay my mail on earth. Throw now

thy dart, thou king of Morven!" He saw the heaving of her breast. It was the sister of the king. She had seen him in the hall: and loved his face of youth. The spear dropt from the hand of Trenmor: he bent his red cheek to the ground. She was to him a beam of light that meets the sons of the cave; when they revisit the fields of the sun, and bend their aching eyes!

“ Chief of the windy Morven,” begun the maid of the arms of show, “ let me rest in thy bound

ing ship, far from the love of Corlo. For he, “ like the thunder of the desert, is terrible to Ini“ baca. He loves me in the gloom of pride. He « shakes ten thousand spears!”—“ Rest thou in " peace," said the mighty Trenmor, “ rest behind « the shield of my fathers. I will not fly from “the chief, though he shakes ten thousand spears.” Three days he waited on the shore. He sent his horn abroad. He called Corlo to battle, from all his echoing hills. But Corlo came not to battle. The king of Lochlin descends from his hall. He feasted on the roaring shore. He gave the maid to Trenmor!

“ King of Lochlin," said Fingal, “ thy blood “ flows in the veins of thy foe. Our fathers met “ in battle, because they loved the strife of spears. “ But often did they feast in the hall: and send “round the joy of the shell. Let thy face brighten “ with gladness, and thine ear delight in the harp.

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